The Stafford Family

We are Bob, Jackie, Whitney, Justin, Jack and Gabriel Stafford. We decided to create this blogger so that Justin can see what the family is up to while he is deployed to Iraq. Hopefully this will keep him up to date on family events, trips, and just everyday life. For all you other nosey people who will check this blog (haha)...Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

4th of July!

This year is exceptionally hard because Justin is serving our country over in Baghdad and so we decided that "Baby Brewers Boy" needed to get in the spirit! A week ago, we made Brewers a patriotic soldiers dog!
Hope everyone has a great Independence Day,
And dont forget about all those soldiers over there that are fighting for just that! Here's to you, Justin! Love you

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Justins Pictures

We recently got some 2 pictures and a small video clip from Justin last week. He wanted to send us more but he said that the connection was so slow over there that that was all he could upload for now. Plus he said that it is a pain in the butt because every picture and video as to be approved before he can email it to people. So hopefully we will be getting some more pictures here in the near future. Until then here are the ones he sent us! Enjoy :-)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Justin's Emails

I hear from Justin personally or through other people on a fairly regular basis. We also get phone calls from him and about once a week I'll hear from him on windows messenger and if I'm lucky, I'll see his sweet face on video conference! That is always the highlight of my week. The last time I saw him on there he looked much better than the week or so before that. He cannot tell me what he is doing as far as patient care but did say that he does not see patients in his fob. He has apparently been to the base hospital in Balad which was a positive experience. I want to stress the word "positive" because he was impressed with the hospital there and was very glad to see his Air Force brothers. He said the hospital had clean bathrooms and tiled floors. I think he sees the not-so-positive side of things there because of his field of work. Also, not being with other Air Force people and not having that unit of support, has been difficult. I learned through Ashley that he went for x-ray training recently. Mostly though, he cannot talk about his job. He did tell me that he is working hard for his money! In one of our emails, he said that this deployment has changed him and that he will not be the same person when he returns. He told me that he has been praying and that he prays for the people he works with (even though they do not treat him very well). At night, he reads his Bible and writes in his journal the happenings of his day. Justin has been there almost a month now and told me he thought that it had passed quickly. As for me, I can say that I do occasionally have a day that I do not cry and in that sense, I'm doing better and time is passing more quickly. It doesn't get any easier though. We all send him letters, boxes and others are giving me items to send to him as well. Jack's classroom and boy scout den, as well as my group from Bible study are sending him boxes. At one point he asked that we not send anything because he did not have any more room to store things. I will post pictures soon as I need help from Whitney to do that part! Justin, if you get a chance to read this, everyone loves you! Jack and Gabriel pray for you every night and I have 9 dear friends that have your picture and pray over it every day! The You Tube video has generated over 230 hits so hopefully that is at least 230 prayers! Your picture is also posted at a Christian bookstore in Northern Ky. It is a wall of honor for military people. Keep your head up (unless you start hearing sirens) and be content in knowing that you are being protected by our almighty Father! I love You XOXOXOXO Mom

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Saying Goodbye

Today is April 27, 2008 a chilly Sunday morning. As of this writing, I have not heard from Justin since Thursday night when I received a call from him while at work. He was actually at work as well. It was so good to hear his voice! He said that he is keeping a journal and was updating it every day. Most of what he does cannot be relayed to me which just keeps us all wondering what his daily life is like there. A few times he just says "it's really bad here and there's definitely a war going on". From time to time, we do a video conference through our web cams and that is always always always the highlight of my day. Yesterday, I received a document from him in the mail along with a handwritten note. At the end of it he said that everything will be all right and that he is reading his Bible. He said that was awesome and went on to say that that should make my day......which it obviously did!!! Basically what we do here is live by Iraqi time which is 8 hours ahead. I check instant messenger regularly throughout the day and carry my cell phone like it's now a permanent appendage! Having a son in Iraq has been life altering, all encompassing and definitely faith based. Without God in my life and my faith in Him, I would have no hope or peace. "No God, no peace, Know God Know Peace". But God loves Justin more than I do and He's always in perfect attendance.....even when mortars hit. So, Justin if you get an opportunity to read this, we love you! Thanks for taking care of others. Just like you are my son, there are other parents and spouses that has loved ones there and it is people like you that are saving their lives and attending to their injuries. Thank God for military like you!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Justin's Departure

The weekend for Justin was filled with family and laughs. While Bob and I had a wedding on Saturday night, Justin joined Whitney, their dad, Drew, Ashley, Sandra, Nanny and Papaw and Bill for a dinner at a restaurant in Mason and later went to the Polo Grille for some drinks and good music. I spoke to them a couple of times and they were having a good time. On Sunday, Justin and Ashley were able to make it to church with us. Afterwards, Charlie, our Senior Pastor took us aside and prayed for Justin. With it being such a nice day outside we grilled out. Since Justin is always the first one in the pool no matter what time of year it is, we decided it would be fitting for him to do it again before he leaves. The water was about 54 degrees but it was a great moment between Justin, Jack and Gabe. Later on, we went to dinner at Benihana's and joined by Justin and Whitney's Dad and the Bemmes'. It seems that everyone wanted some time with Justin before he leaves.